What are cockroaches?

Cockroaches are an ancient group of insects. Their adaptability has allowed this group of insects to thrive while others have become extinct. Cockroaches are a nocturnal species. They hide during the day and become active at night to forage for food. Cockroaches are scavengers and feed on a variety of food and non-food items. Cockroaches have flattened, oval-shaped bodies and six legs that are covered in spines. Their long antennae are usually the same length or longer than their body. Their bodies are usually black, brown, or reddish-brown in color. Cockroach nymphs look similar to adults, but are smaller in size and are wingless.

a cockroach in a coffee mug inside of a north carolina home

Three common cockroach species found in and around Charlotte, North Carolina are the German, American, and smoky brown roaches.

  • German cockroaches have two black stripes running horizontally down behind their head. Their bodies are tan to light brown in color. German cockroaches are most problematic in homes and restaurants. They are the most common species found living throughout the world. German roaches are capable of flying, but rarely do.

  • American cockroaches are a large species of cockroach. They have a distinctive, yellowish-colored figure-eight pattern located behind their head. Both males and females are strong fliers.

  • Smokey brown cockroaches are closely related to American cockroaches and have a similar appearance, but are slightly smaller in size. Smokey brown cockroaches are a uniform, dark brown color. Their wings extend out beyond their bodies. Both females and males are strong fliers.

Are cockroaches dangerous?

Cockroaches are not aggressive, they do not typically bite people, and they do not sting. However, cockroaches are considered dangerous pests because of the large number of bacteria, parasites, and human pathogens they carry. Dysentery, salmonellosis, gastroenteritis, and E. coli can all be spread by cockroaches. Cockroach feces, saliva, and shed skins can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. This is especially true in the case of children or people with weakened immune systems.

Why do I have a cockroach problem?

Cockroaches have the potential to find their way into any home or business. Cockroaches typically make their way into residential and commercial properties while foraging for food. Smokey brown cockroaches are highly attracted to light and are drawn to the outside of buildings by outdoor lighting. Cockroaches enter homes and businesses through cracks and crevices in the foundation, gaps in siding, spaces around windows and doors, and open delivery doors. They also get inside through vents, ducts, or drains. Additionally, cockroaches can be accidentally brought inside in used furniture, appliances, cardboard boxes, deliveries, and on potted plants.

Where will I find cockroaches?

Cockroaches live and nest in a variety of places. Most species prefer warm, humid, and dark locations. Inside they like to hide out behind appliances, underneath cabinets, in drains, in laundry rooms, boiler rooms, and in pantry areas. Outside roaches live on trees, underneath mulch, in gardens, in trashcans, under piles of debris, and in sewers and drains. Smokey brown cockroaches can be found gathering in doorways, decks, porches, and other areas where outdoor lighting may be found.

How do I get rid of cockroaches?

Partner with qualified pest control experts to eliminate and control cockroaches. At ProForce Pest Control, our knowledgeable and dedicated service professionals provide effective and guaranteed residential and commercial pest control services. We are committed to exceeding customer expectations and using innovative solutions to eliminate cockroaches and other invasive pests from Charlotte and the surrounding area's homes and businesses. To learn more about our cockroach control services, contact ProForce.

How can I prevent cockroaches in the future?

Doing the following in your home or business and around your property can help to prevent problems with cockroaches in the future:

  • Seal cracks and crevices in the foundation and exterior walls of your building.

  • Use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture levels in your home or business.

  • Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible.

  • Repair holes in window and door screens.

  • Repair leaky pipes and fixtures throughout your building.

  • Place a mesh cover over all vents leading into your home or business.

  • Replace white outdoor light fixtures with yellow light bulbs or LED bulbs that are less attractive to insects.

  • Seal spaces found around wires, cables, pipes and other utilities entering your building from the outdoors.


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